When visiting any country, you should always check out their customs first. No matter if it’s a modern or a traditional country, take some time to research a bit because you can never know in which country will you offend someone with something that is completely normal in your homeland or if you are allowed to do something that is considered normal or legal in other countries. We decided to make your research a bit easier and we put together a list of things you shouldn’t do in Croatia. Enjoy and take notes!
1. Hiking in flip-flops
It’s dangerous and you could hurt yourself. Don’t do it!
This happens a lot around here. People think that they can hike in almost any kind of shoes, but flip-flops are the most dangerous kind of footwear you could wear in a situation like this. Hiking isn’t easy, you need some footwear that will support your feet and your movement and which will protect your feet if you step on something sharp or pointy. Also, if you go hiking, please take at least one bottle of water with you, you will get thirsty and not all water in nature is safe to drink. When the Pokemon GO craze started, many people went into the mountains without proper equipment and they either got lost, got into an awkward situation or they needed to contact the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (CMRS). Still, if you get into any kind of trouble while you’re in the mountains or just in nature, don’t hesitate and call 112, the official phone number of the CMRS.
2. Keep yourself updated!
Avoid any kind of awkward situations, just do a small research and you’ll be fine!
When you’re planning your vacation in Croatia, please do a shorter research about the latest rules of the city or place you’re about to visit. By ‘rules’, I mean the newest things on the list of punishable offenses. For example, in the town of Hvar going for a walk in your swimwear or without a shirt counts as an offense since July of this year. Fines are between 500 and 600 €. Keep yourself updated on things like these so you could avoid any kinds of awkward situations.
3. Comparing Croatia to any other country in front of the locals
Don’t compare two things which weren’t created under the same circumstances.
People are really sensitive when someone starts comparing their homeland to another, richer country. Please note that Croatia is a fairly young country and there was a war here from 1991 to 1995, it’s called the Croatian War of Independence and it reversed the development of the economy in the country for some time. You cannot compare the prices or the development in two countries based on just a few of your experiences without doing some research on the history of the country you’re visiting. So please be considerate when talking to locals about their country. If you’re not satisfied, leaving a review on a blog or a forum is smarter than telling them everything to their face and angering them.
4. Going into the sea barefoot
Watch out for anything sharp or pointy in the water and always wear water shoes!
This is something the tourists do really often. They aren’t aware of the dangers that lurk under the beautiful clear blue water. Well, the situation is as it follows: often what you can feel under your feet in the see are pebbles, and not that cute and smooth type, but rather the sharp and pointy ones which can cut you if you’re not careful enough. Also, there are many sea urchins in the shallow water and people tend to think that they are just some weird shaped stones. Well, they are not! And if you step on a sea urchin, its spikes might stay on your foot and you’ll have to go to the emergency room to get them out and believe me, it’s not a pleasant feeling. A nice solution to this is wearing water shoes in the water, they will protect your feet from anything that could slash or pierce it!
5. What you see on photos often doesn’t look like that
What you see is sometimes not what you get. It’s not a scam, it’s real life!
When you’re looking for places to visit in a country, you often fall in love with the sights you see on the photos or in the videos and then when you finally get to that place, you feel kind of empty and disappointed. That’s why you should ALWAYS check out some photos which were taken by other tourists because they will give you a better insight into the situation. Many times I hear things like “The place was too crowded, it didn’t look like that in the photos” or “The beach was completely empty in the photo”. Well, yes. They won’t put a photo of a completely crowded place in a brochure or in an article because in that case, you won’t see the true beauty of the beach or the park you want to visit. It’s not false advertising, you just have to find the perfect time to visit those places with whose photos you fell in love with!
6. Summertime storms
Sometimes a nice and refreshing storm rolls in during the summer, stay safe and warm!
Don’t think that it will always be hot here during the summer because it won’t. Sometimes during the summer season, a storm can roll in and the sun will hide behind the clouds so it won’t be able to warm you up. These kinds of things don’t last long, maybe a day or two but during those couple of days, it would be preferable if you had a sweater or a long sleeved shirt. You know, just so you could avoid spending the rest of your vacation in your hotel room, blowing your nose and sneezing every 3 minutes. Always be prepared, no matter where you’re going and how hot it is there!
Try as much local food as you can, you won’t regret it!
Don’t hesitate to try the local cuisine! It’s amazing, no matter if you’re visiting Continental Croatia or the Adriatic Coast, try as much of the local food as possible! And if you’re staying at a place where you have to share the building with the landlord, and if the said landlord offers you their homemade wine, schnapps, food, basically anything that is homemade, do not, I repeat, DO NOT reject it. Maybe if you’re really against alcohol or if you’re allergic to something, in that case, you’re allowed to reject it, but otherwise don’t, because to many people, it counts as an insult.
8. If you can, avoid driving
Instead of driving, enjoy the things that surround you!
If you’re not a local, weren’t born in that particular place or don’t have the ability to memorize each and every road and street of the said place, do not drive on your own, especially without a GPS. You shouldn’t ruin your experience by getting lost in a big city or in an unknown area. There are many bus lines in the bigger cities, and even in the smaller places in Croatia which will take you to your desired destination. The bus and tram tickets aren’t really expensive, so spare your wallet and nerves and travel by public transport. Or if you want to, take a walk through the city, you won’t regret it since you’ll be able to get to know the culture of the people and the place itself. And you’ll also see much more while walking that while sitting in a car, a tram or a bus!
9. Don’t be afraid to make contact
Don’t be shy, befriend some locals! They are amazing, trust me!
Many times when people visit Croatia, they say that the people here are scary because they are loud (it’s just how they talk, really) and they seem aggressive. Maybe it seems so, but it’s the total opposite! People in Croatia are really fun loving and friendly so you shouldn’t be afraid to say hi or to introduce yourself! Croatia is known for its low crime rate and lack of aggression on its streets, so you really don’t have anything to worry about! Maybe you’ll make some new lifelong buddies! You won’t know until you try it!
10. Leaving your things unattended on the beach
Don’t leave your belongings unattended on a beach!
No matter how low the crime rate is in Croatia, there’s always someone who will try to make a couple of extra bucks by selling stolen belongings. Please, be aware that leaving your things unattended on the beach is never a smart idea because the people around your beach chair won’t know whose beach chair it really is so anyone can walk up to your purse or backpack and take anything they like. When going to the beach, take only the essentials which are sunscreen, a hat, a bottle of water and a towel, maybe something to eat and your ID. You should leave everything else (money, cell phone, jewelry) in your hotel room or in your car.